News Local Mitsero murders: All eyes on Memi lake search for seventh body

Mitsero murders: All eyes on Memi lake search for seventh body

Search parties will tomorrow step up efforts at Memi lake where a self-confessed serial killer says he threw the body of a six year old girl, the only one of seven murder victims whose body has not yet been found.

On Tuesday, after weeks of combing the toxic Kokkini Limni (Red Lake) at Mitsero, divers recovered a suitcase with the badly decomposed body of an adult, believed to belong Maricar Valdez Arquiola from the Philippines.

Formal identification is still pending, while a Scotland Yard pathologist is due in Cyprus to join state pathologists for the post-mortem identification.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides described the discovery of the body a ‘very important development’ in police investigations in the spate of murders which has sent shockwaves through Cyprus.

The suspect, a 35 year old Cypriot army officer, is due back in court on Thursday where police will request a renewal of his remand.

He has been in police custody since mid-April and has reportedly confessed in a hand written statement to killing five women and two children. He has also been taken to both lakes where he showed police where he had disposed on the bodies.

The suspect, who went by the online name of Orestes, has told police that he wrapped the body of the six year old girl in a sheet, tied it to a cement block and threw it in Memi lake.

However, despite a search with divers, sonar equipment and robotic cameras, and the assistance of Israeli experts who were in Cyprus last week, search parties have made no progress.

Fire services chief Marcos Trangolas, who is coordinating the search, reiterated on Wednesday that the search in Memi lake was particularly difficult.

He said that today, search teams will move all the equipment from Kokkini Limni to Memi so that the search can get underway in earnest tomorrow using the robotic camera and with the help of Brasal Marine Services who have been assisting search efforts for weeks and whose diver yesterday discovered the suitcase.

“There were times we lost hope,” Trangolas said of the protracted search for the third suitcase. He noted that search parties had found the first two suitcases within eight days but then had to search for weeks for the third one.

“We had four or five days to go before we had covered the whole area, there was disappointment and concern,” he said.

Trangolas said the third suitcase was under mud, while the first two were found in shallow water.

The suspect is due in court on Thursday for his sixth eight day remand and police have not indicated when they intend to file formal charges.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said that police have taken 600 statements and the investigation was proceeding well.

Read more

Top Stories

Two more coronavirus cases, both with travel history

  Two people -- both with a travel history -- have tested positive for coronavirus after 1159 tests, bringing the total to 1010, the Health...

U.S. Supreme Court rules some Trump financial records can be revealed

  The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a New York prosecutor can obtain President Donald Trump's financial records but prevented - at least...

June beer sales down annual 19.5%

  Beer sales in June slumped an annual 19.5% reflecting the absence of tourists, although exports recorded a significant increase. Figures released by the Statistical Service...

Rules eased to allow daily visits to care homes

  Citing the improved epidemiological situation concerning the coronavirus outbreak, the Labour Ministry has updated rules governing visits to care homes for the elderly and...

Larnaca: 40 days jail for drunk driving

  Larnaca district court on Thursday sentenced a 53 year old man to 40 days in prison after finding him guilty of drunk driving and...


How to make triandafillo ice cream, by UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin

  Just in time for the scorching heat, UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin has shared her recipe for refreshing triantafillo ice cream -- or as...

Cyprus sprouts with cream and prosciutto

In a big, deep frying pan, fry the prosciutto in the olive oil, on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic...

Pork burger with sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies

Mix all the ingredients together with the mince in a bowl, and combine well. Divide into 4 balls and form the burgers. Warm a griddle/pan...


Wash the lamb cauls with plenty of cold water and let them settle in water and vinegar for a little while. Soak the bread crumbs...